$5 million plan aims to help Los Angeles County homeless youth

A homeless encampment is seen in this undated file photo. (KABC)

Los Angeles County is hoping $5 million will help reduce homelessness among young people.

The county Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to set aside the money.

Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl, who co-authored the proposal, say they believe investing in solutions now could prevent youths living on the streets from becoming the chronic homeless of the future.

"If we are serious about ending our homeless crisis, we have to focus on preventing people from falling into homelessness in the first place," Kuehl said.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates there are about 1.7 million runaways or homeless youth under the age of 18 nationwide, with roughly 6,150 homeless youth in Los Angeles County.

Solis and Kuehl said the money could potentially fund programs to benefit drop-in centers, transitional housing, educational support and job training.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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